Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
Look out Europe: the Russian bear is coming

Look out Europe: the Russian bear is coming

  • June 05, 2015
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There is a psychological theory called projection which I have often thought can be applied to international relations.     Essentially, projection describes a tendency in interpersonal relationships by which individuals project onto others certain characteristics that they fear or hate in themselves.

An obvious example might be a sexually-frustrated fundamentalist preacher who persecutes others because he imagines that they are thinking about nothing but sex.   Another example might an unfaithful or potentially unfaithful spouse who imagines that his/her partner is unfaithful.

Freud thought that the main purpose of this mechanism was defensive: by projecting...

Come on Let’s Kick the Poor (like we did last summer)

Come on Let’s Kick the Poor (like we did last summer)

  • June 02, 2015
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The Bible tells us that the poor will always be with us, and as long as they are around there will always be politicians willing to punish them for their poverty.     It might be the Wisconsin State Assembly, which has just approved legislation banning food stamp recipients from eating junk food and also...

Spain goes Left: Britain turns Right

Spain goes Left: Britain turns Right

  • May 31, 2015
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I’ve just come back from a week’s walking in the Axarquia mountains in Andalucia.  My trip didn’t allow much time for blogging, or for any commentary on the remarkable results of last weekend’s Spanish municipal and regional elections, but it was thrilling and inspiring to witness Ada Colau on television acknowledging her victory over the...

Labour’s Zombie Politicians

  • May 20, 2015
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It’s less than a fortnight since Ed Miliband’s unexpected political demise, and already his would-be successors and closet critics are stripping the flesh from his political corpse like extras from The Walking Dead. Personally,   I can’t really blame anyone in the Labour Party holding Miliband up to serious scrutiny, given the catastrophic failure...

Election: Reasons to be cheerful

  • May 13, 2015
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Optimism of the will and pessimism of the intellect isn’t always the best response to political defeats or reversals.   The refusal to accept adverse circumstances and setbacks might be admirable in some contexts, but it can also indicate a confusion between what is desirable and what is possible, and a kind of blind faith...

If you want to shop at Waitrose clap your hands, clap your hands

  • May 11, 2015
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If there’s one political concept I detest even more than the banal cliché ‘hard-working families’, it’s the notion of the ‘aspirational voter’.   I had already had quite enough of the former during the election campaign,   and now ‘aspirational’ has become the new buzzword as Labour’s ‘soul searching’ into the great debacle gets...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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